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7 High-Protein Foods a Female Trainer Eats To Stay Fit

A top trainer reveals the high-protein foods she always eats to stay in great shape.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

As a trainer and an active mama of two (who is also breastfeeding), it is essential that I fuel my day with the foods that will give me the most bang for my buck—the ones packed with lots of protein. Why? With very little time, I need to ensure that I'm getting enough nutrients to fuel my body, keep me satisfied, and maintain high energy levels for daily activities, movement, and producing breast milk. I've found it best to stick with mostly plant-based sources of protein, as it has worked wonders for my body (and many of my clients) and is also the most convenient. Below are my top seven high-protein foods, along with my favorite recipes to use them in.

Oats

banana breakfast cookie
Jacquie Smith

Oats are the queen of my pantry and the star of many of my breakfast and snack recipes—just ½ cup will give you 5 grams of protein! Oats are not only packed with protein, but they also contain magnesium, zinc, and folate. Try my OG Banana Breakfast Cookies that my clients and I make on repeat.

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Eggs

egg breakfast
Jacquie Smith

Who doesn't love eggs? They can be used for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus, they are high in protein and low in carbs. Try my Mediterranean Egg Breakfast, which is complete with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sliced avocado, and a handful of greens. One large egg offers 6 grams of protein, and this recipe calls for one to two.

Lentils

lentil soup
Jacquie Smith

With their large amounts of protein, fiber, iron, and antioxidants, lentils make for the perfect addition to any meal. I love whipping up this Hearty Vegan Lentil Soup, which is packed with green lentils, carrots, celery, onion, crushed tomatoes, and spices for a healthy comfort meal. Just one cup of dry lentils provides a whopping 47 grams of protein, and this recipe requires two cups of dried green lentils. You know you're in for a protein-packed treat!

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Ezekiel Bread

avocado toast
Jacquie Smith

Toast lover? Look no further than Ezekiel bread, as it is made from organic, sprouted whole grains and legumes. It contains more protein (around 5 grams per slice) and less gluten, and it allows your body to easily absorb more nutrients than traditional bread. I love making this Avocado Toast recipe with Ezekiel bread for a breakfast that's chock-full of protein and deliciousness.

Beans

white buffalo bean dip
Jacquie Smith

If you're mostly plant-based like me, then beans are key to your diet. Why? Not only do they contain a ton of protein, but they also contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, iron, and potassium. Try my Vegan White Bean Buffalo Dip, which includes navy beans (around 20 grams of protein per cup). It's the perfect treat when enjoyed with cut-up veggies for dipping.

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Chia Seeds

chia seed nice cream
Jacquie Smith

Chia seeds are one of those staples that I put in or on everything because they contain lots of protein (28 grams per cup), fiber (58 grams per cup), and omega-3 fatty acids. They will keep you feeling satisfied long after your meal is over. Try this Chocolate Coconut Chia Nice Cream, which I enjoy when I'm craving something sweet.

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Nuts/Nut butter

chocolate peanut butter smoothie
Jacquie Smith

If you're a nut butter fan like me, you can't go wrong with one of my go-to smoothie recipes: the Chocolate PB Supergreens Smoothie. It's a protein powerhouse and features ingredients like organic peanut butter (4 grams of protein per tablespoon), Ceylon cinnamon, organic spinach, unsweetened cacao powder, steamed then frozen cauliflower, and chocolate protein powder.

I recently taught my daughter that adding nuts or nut butter to foods—especially foods with more sugar—will "help her stabilize her blood sugar levels." I love the variety and convenience of adding these to any meal for extra protein and healthy fat.

Jacquie Smith
Jacquie Smith is a certified integrative nutrition health coach from IIN and a fitness instructor specializing in barre, yoga, and pre/postnatal workouts. Read more about Jacquie